Take a hike | PostIndependent.com

Take a hike

Featured hiking trail: Fryingpan Lakes Trail

Location: Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness Area

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail use: Moderate

Length: Four or nine miles, depending on where you choose to begin.

Elevation beginning and end: 8,700 ft. to 11,020 ft.

Getting there: From Basalt travel 32 miles on the Fryingpan Road, which follows the river. When the pavement ends, turn right onto 505 road and continue past the Horseshoe Bend Guest Ranch. The road will dead end at the trailhead. Another, longer option is to take the Horseshoe Bend Guest Ranch Road and park in the public parking near the bulletin board just across the bridge. Hike up the road to the trailhead.

Highlights: Beginning at Horseshoe Bend, the trail is a fairly easy climb and parallels the Frying pan River for nine miles until it reaches the Fryingpan Lakes. The trail may be shortened by taking the 505 road to the end and hiking the remaining four miles. This trail passes in and out of conifer forests and high meadows with a stream crossing about 2.5 miles before the lakes. Extra socks could prove useful.

Things to remember: Wilderness areas are in a delicate state of natural balance, they are not a renewable resource. Any careless act can upset this natural balance and result in destruction. By following these ethics and regulations you can help protect and preserve the natural features of the Wilderness for future visits.

Ethics and regulations:

– Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

– All trash must be packed out, leave no trace

– Bury all human waste 100 feet from water and 6-8 inches in the ground.

– Camp 100 feet from water and trails, and use existing sites when possible.

– Lightweight camp stoves are recommended for camping and are required above timberline.

– Do not wash or bathe in lakes or streams, use biodegradable soap far from water sources.

– Stay on trails and do not shortcut switchbacks.

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